Marikana scenes mapped out

2012-10-23 18:14

Rustenburg - A map of events in Marikana between 12 and 16 August was shown on Tuesday to the Farlam commission into the shooting of Lonmin platinum mine workers.

Crime scene technician Lieutenant Colonel Cornelius Johannes Botha pointed out 12 crime scenes - marked A to L on a Google map.

The scenes included areas where two security guards were killed, where police officers were killed, and four areas where "civilian" bodies were found.

It also showed the hill in Wonderkop where miners gathered, called scene one; and a kraal and a small hill, called scene two.

The commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, is tasked with establishing the cause of police opening fire on a group of striking miners encamped on a hill in Nkaneng, killing 34 and wounding 78 on 16 August.

The workers had been carrying knobkerries, pangas, sticks and iron rods.

Workers at the mine went on strike on 10 August, demanding a monthly salary of R12 500. Within four days, 10 people had been killed, among them two policemen and two security guards.

Botha also showed an aerial photo of the area on 13 August when two policemen and three mineworkers were killed in clashes - showing the crime scenes to which he attended.

He pointed out on the photo the locations where he had found bodies, spent cartridges and other objects.

In one area, Botha said he found 10 9mm cartridge cases, two rubber bullets from a shotgun and three shotgun cartridge cases.

There were also two small pools of blood close to each other, said Botha.

In a second area, he found a shotgun cartridge case, a piece of folded paper with possibly dagga inside, a ballistic round, a shotgun cartridge, two R5 cartridge cases and a shoe.

At a third scene, shown on the photo, Botha said he found eight shotgun cartridges, two R5 cartridge cases, four gas rubbers, and a stun grenade handle.

Two knobkerries, a woollen cap, a piece of sharpened iron and a blanket were also found.

Evidence leader Mbuyiseli Madlanga, who was leading Botha's evidence, asked him if his team had made its best attempt in putting the information together for the commission.

Botha said the evidence team had told him how he should put the photos together.

Farlam asked Botha if he had thoroughly searched the scene.

Botha said he had, but that "you have to draw a line somewhere, you can't search all the way to Marikana".

Advocates for the various parties were given a chance to cross-examine Botha's evidence.

  • gary.desousa.7 - 2012-10-23 18:45

    Deliberate well

  • bjanks - 2012-10-24 04:14

    Kill or be killed, that was the case in my opinion... People have become used to ANC soft approach on crime and violence. I say eye for an eye. If you wanna kill then expect to be killed and don't take a knife to a gun fight. In a country that has the highest murders and cop killings in the world if you look at population Density it is the only way to resolve the issue of violence...

  • guyp1 - 2012-10-24 10:51

    Isn't this proof that the police had ALREADY WARNED the miners and other strikers that force will be used if they do not stop? I read in another article or comment by someone that said that rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades were not used and the police only resorted to using live ammunition against the rioting miners. It seems clear that all the defendants of the "victims" only see what they want to see, being the retaliation of the police against the miners charging with weapons. To me this looks like those that can benefit from the chaos are doing so... Quite alarming to think that there are so many 'blind' or stupid people in the country. we will never become a first world country at this rate...

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